17th and 18th Century houses tour
This tour of First Period and early Second Period houses in Ipswich Architectural Preservation District starts from the Ipswich Public Library on Meeting House Green, and proceeds to the East End along the Ipswich River, the High Street Historic District, returning on North Main Street to Meeting House Green.
From the Library, continue to downtown and cross the Choate Bridge to South Main StreetSouth Main Street and the South Green, with includes early houses on County Rd and Poplar St.
(Houses are listed numerically, and may not be in the order that they are visited. View an interactive map of this tour on Google Maps.
East End Historic District
12 Green Street, the Andrew Burley house (1688) - Andrew Burley bought this lot in 1683 and built a house shortly thereafter. He became a wealthy merchant and updated the house with fine Georgian features. Burley was a justice of the Sessions Court and was elected representative to the General Court in 1741. Capt. John Smith purchased the house in 1760 from the estate of Andrew Burley’s widow Hannah and operated it as Smith's Tavern.
1 Turkey Shore Road, the Burnham-Patch-Day house (1730) - This house has a preservation agreement with the Ipswich Historical Commission. The house was built by Thomas Burnham in 1730 on the foundation of the earlier house he bought in 1667. The large ell on Poplar Street was added in the early nineteenth-century. Abner Day bought the house of the heirs of John Patch in 1814 and kept a well-known tavern. 67 Turkey Shore Road, the Stephen Boardman house (1720) - This house is named for Stephen Boardman, the son of Thomas Boardman and Sarah Langley. He and his wife Elizabeth Cogswes moved to Stratham, NH where he made a name for himself as a vocal supporter of the American revolution.The wide pine board floors in the house are original, and 4 restored fireplaces share a central chimney.
12 Water Street, the Glazier – Sweet house (1728) - This house was built in 1728 by Benjamin Glazier, a sea captain, and transitions the First and Second Periods of Colonial construction. The original half house and early Beverly Jog addition remain intact, with later additions. 32 Water Street, the Jabesh Sweet house (1713) - Jabesh Sweet built this house on a quarter acre lot by the river at 32 Water Street in 1713. People said that the ghost of Harry Maine the Mooncusser haunted the house that once sat where the garage for this house now stands. He was found guilty and staked to the Ipswich Bar for eternity. 36 Water Street, the York – Averill House (1715) - Captain Samuel York built this house in 1715 after selling two smaller lots on East Street. The earliest portions of this house date from the early years of his ownership, Benjamin Averill, a Revolutionary War veteran, bought the house in 1793 and it remained in the Averill family until the late 19th century. 6 Water Street, the Preston – Foster house (1690) - Ipswich deeds list the transfer of a house at this location from Roger Preston to Reginald Foster in 1657, but construction of this house dates to about 1690. Massive chamfered summer beams in the right section, the sharp-pitched roof and purlins provide evidence of the early date. 8 Water Street, the Harris-Sutton House (1677) - Abner Harris bought this lot and enlarged the house in 1743. When the house was dismantled and reconstructed in the early 21st Century, evidence was discovered indicating that the eastern part of the house may date to 1677.
3 Hovey Street, the John Kendrick house (1665) - John Kenrick, a cooper by trade, owned this lot in 1665,. He and his son sold it to to Thomas Staniford in 1706. Structural evidence supports a construction date of about 1670. Much of the trim dates from the late 18th or early 19th centuries.
46 Summer Street, the James Foster house (1720) - James Foster bought this former orchard land in 1720 from Nathaniel Clark who moved to Newbury. The northwest side is the original half-house, which was doubled in size and remodeled to appear Georgian, with the two chimneys, dormers and a symmetrical front. The house was owned by the Soward family in the 19th Century, and partially burned. 43 Summer Street, the Wilcomb-Pinder house (1718) - This timber-framed First Period house was built in 1718 by William Wilcomb. The interior of the home features hand-hewn summer beams, wide plank flooring and the original fireplaces. The next owner, William Benjamin Pinder was a corporal with Col. Appleton’s company during the French and Indian War. 39 Summer Street, the Foster – Grant house (1717) - In 1717 Nathaniel Knowlton sold a small lot to James Foster who is believed to have built the house. In 1826, the family sold to Ephriam Grant, and the house was long known as the "Grant house." Early Colonial features are preserved throughout the house. 3 Summer Street, the Benjamin Kimball house (c 1720, alt. 1803) - The Benjamin Kimball House dates to about 1720 and was a 2 room cape moved to this location in 1803 and expanded at that time. The Benjamin Kimball house is late first period but has been altered with Georgian and Federal influences. The walls and roof are constructed of huge beams with mortise and tenon joinery, and the first floor outside corners have gunstock posts, evidence that they once supported the roof. 27 Summer Street, the Thomas Knowlton house (1688) - Humphrey Bradstreet. sold his house and land to Deacon Thomas Knowlton in 1646.
In 1688 Knowlton passed his house and land to his grand nephew Nathaniel Knowlton with a new house erected on the property, and it is this house that survives today. 11 Summer Street, the Nathaniel Hovey house (1718) - Nathaniel Hovey Sr. lived only to the age of 28, about the time of the birth of his son. Nathaniel Jr. in 1696. This house was probably built by the younger Hovey. The asymetrical layout of the front of this house suggests that it may have originally been built as a half house and expanded. A modified Beverly jog is on the left.
9 County Street, the Benjamin Dutch house (1705) - This was built early in the 1700’s, and was owned by one of several men named Benjamin Dutch who owned and sold properties throughout town. The asymmetrical facade and timber frame are typical of First Period construction. 7 County Street, the Thomas Dennis House (1663) - Shoreborne Wilson, a cooper, built a house and shop on this site about 1660. Thomas Dennis, the well-known master joiner, bought the property in 1663. The rear ell of the present house dates from that period, The 5-bay front section of the house dates to the 1750's. 5 County Street, the Rindge-Pinder-Leatherland house (1718) - Richard Rindge (also spelled Ringe) acquired the lot at 5 County St., with a house already on it, in 1718. Phillip Clark operated an undertaker's and cabinet shop here, and in the mid-19th Century it was a "shoe manufacturing" business owned by Ignatius Dodge who lived in the Thomas Dennis house next door. 47 County Street, the Benjamin Grant house (1723) - The Benjamin Grant House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It appears to have been originally built as a half house. Benjamin Grant was born in 1701 in Ipswich to Robert and Mary Grant, who emigrated from England. Benjamin married Anne Perkins in 1722, and was killed in the French and Indian War in 1756. 11 County Street, the Bennett – Caldwell house (1725) - Joseph Bennett built this early Second Period house in 1725. In 1818 the house was sold to Capt. Sylvanus Caldwell, who engaged in maritime trade along the coast from Massachusetts to Maine for a half century.
14 East Street, the Baker – Newman house (1725) - John Baker obtained a section of the land extending down East Street to Spring Street, originally granted to Rev. Cobbet. John Baker Jr. sold eight acres with buildings including land on the hillside to Nathaniel Jones Jr. in 1742.
Jones sold the house and lot to George Newman Jr., a weaver. 18 East Street, the Baker-Dodge house (1727) - This house was built by John Baker III, and was purchased by Mary Dennis Dodge in 1818. The house is protected by a preservation agreement between the owners and the town of Ipswich. 30 East Street, the Jordan – Snelling – Potter house (c 1708) - John Potter purchased the lot in 1708 with all the buildings, including the “old house, new out-houses, etc.” Structural evidence reveals that the house was built in two stages, and that the west side is the earliest portion. The house was owned in the 1950’s by Hollie Bucklin who renovated the building so that it appears to be a medieval revival cross-gabled house. 59 East Street, the Daniel Ringe house (1719) - The small lot fronting on East Street was sold to Daniel Ringe, Oct. 16, 1719 . It was sold to John Holland, Nov. 6, 1742. Daniel Ringe was an early settler of Ipswich, and as a young man worked as a cow-herd. Captain Ringe was a soldier in the Indian wars and became a prominent citizen of Ipswich. 62 East Street, the Treadwell-Wainwright House (1727) - Capt. John Wainwright bought 3 1/2 acres from Nathaniel Treadwell in 1726 (47:144) and built this fine Georgian mansion.The raised-field paneling and feather-edge sheathing found throughout the house are key features. 76 East Street, the Hodgkins – Lakeman House (c1690) - William Hodgkins built this house before 1700. In 1718 he sold the dwelling to Archelaus Lakeman and the property remained in the Lakeman family for almost 200 years. The Lakemans were a sea-faring family with extensive wharves and warehouses on the property and on the Town Wharf across the street. 8 East Street, the Captain Matthew Perkins house (1701) - The Captain Matthew Perkins House at 8 East St. in Ipswich was the winner of the 1991 Mary Conley Award. The land on which the house sits was at one time part of an orchard lot and was sold to Matthew Perkins, a weaver and soldier, by Major Francis Wainwright in 1701. The 1st period 2-story structure has post-medieval overhangs front and side. 80 East Street, the Perkins – Hodgkins House (c 1700) - The Perkins-Hodgkins house is believed to have been built in 1700 on the foundation of the earier Jacob Perkins home. The house has been greatly expanded over the years, but the original asymetrical structure continues to anchor the corner with Jeffreys Neck Road.
High Street Historic District
100 High Street, the Joseph Fowler house (1720 – 1756) - Joseph Fowler, a carpenter bought the lot in 1720. Records indicate that a house may have existed before Fowler obtained it. The house has a 1-1/2 story, gambrel roof with a central chimney and exposed “gunstock” posts. 103 High Street, the Merchant – Choate house (1670) - The building dates to approximately 1670, but the right half may contain timbers from a previous structure on this site which was built in 1639. That simple story and a half cottage is believed to have been built by William Merchant who arrived in Ipswich with John Winthrop and the first settlers. The section on the left was added in 1672. 104 High Street, the John Kimball house (1715) - This is is one of three John Kimball houses along High Street, two said to have been built by the father, the third by the son. The 1st period house has a chamfered summer beam and wide plank tongue and groove sheathing. This house is protected by a preservation agreement between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission. 106 High St. the Caleb Kimball house (1715) - Caleb Kimball (1) was born in 1639 in Ipswich, the son of Richard Kimball and Ursula Scott. The owner has maintained the left inside as a First Period home, with exposed beams and a large fireplace. The right inside was updated with Georgian features, plaster ceilings and a Rumford fireplace.
108 High St., the Dow-Harris house (1735) - This dwelling began as a half house, two rooms in depth, and was constructed about 1735 for Margaret Dow and her second husband John Lull. The entry room retains its original interior casings. Additions date to the 19th Century. 110 High Street, the John Kimball Jr. house (1730) - John Kimball Sr. acquired this land in 1708. Kimball's son, John Jr. built the house and a barn. The eastern half is older, and its timbers were originally exposed. The driveway is the original High Street before the bridge was constructed in 1906. 115 High Street, the Baker – Sutton house (1725) - The widow of Daniel Bosworth, a cowherd sold the lot with a dwelling in 1702 to William Baker, who built the present dwelling. The pilastered chimney and elaborate doorframe were added later. 13 High Street, the Joseph Willcomb house (1669) - The earliest section of this house was built by John Edwards, a tailor, who acquired the property in 1668. He was one of several Tithingmen appointed by the Selectmen “to inspect disorderly persons. Joseph Willcomb bought the house prior to 1762. 17 High Street, the Thomas Lord house (1658) - In 1634 this lot was granted to Robert Lord, one of the settlers of Ipswich, and was deeded to Thomas Lord, a cordwainer who built the early section of this house in 1658. The oak frame encloses a two-room over-two-room house. The saltbox leanto is not integral, indicating that it was added later. 26 High Street, the Philip Call house (1659) - This 2-story timber-frame First Period house was built by cordwainer Philip Call about 1659, enlarged around 1725. In 1967, the owners uncovered a chamfered 17th century summer beam and field paneling behind Victorian-era walls. The house has a preservation agreement with the Ipswich Historical Commission. 27 High Street, the Edward Brown House (1650) - Edward Brown was the original owner of this site in 1639, and the east side of the present house is believed to have been constructed under his ownership around 1650 as a one-room over-one-room floor plan. In the mid-18th century the west side of the house was built. Architectural features of this house are protected by a preservation agreement between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission.
30 High Street, the Joseph Bolles house (1722) - Joseph Bolles, a carpenter bought this lot from Joseph Fowler with an acre of land and a house on it in 1722, which is the assumed date of this structure. This house began as a central chimney house, one room deep. Rooms were later added to the rear, and the roof rebuilt to cover the doubled house. The original oak frame is now thoroughly concealed, and second and third period trim dominate the house. 33 High Street, the Waldo-Caldwell house (1660) - In 1654, Cornelius Waldo sold to John Caldwell for £26 the house and land he bought of Richard Betts. Caldwell removed the old house and built the present house as a two-over-two-room, central chimney plan house with massive summer beams, a huge fireplace, and heavy chamfered frame, a very substantial house of the 1660’s. 34 High Street, the White Horse Inn (1659 / 1763) - John Andrews, innkeeper sold this lot with a house in 1659. The present Federal-era house may date to the possession of Jeremiah Lord in 1763, and took its present appearance around 1800. It stayed in the Lord family into the 20th Century. 39 – 41 High Street, the Daniel Lummus house (1686) - This house has elements dating to 1686 but was significantly rebuilt in 1746. Jonathan Lummus bequeathed to his son Daniel "a small piece of land out of my homestead adjoining to his homestead to make a convenient way to his barn." in 1728. 40 High Street, the William Caldwell House (1733) - William Caldwell built this house after purchasing the lot in 1733, The house remained in the Caldwell family into the 20th Century. Key features of the house include a large kitchen fireplace and exceptional period trim. 45 High Street, the John Lummus house (1712) - Jonathan Lummus, who served in King Philip’s War in 1675 was appointed a tithing man by the town in 1700. Lummus bought Captain Symon Stacy’s land and dwelling on High Street in 1712. This parcel had originally been granted to Thomas Dudley, Governor of Massachusetts. The house underwent a careful restoration by Phillip Ross in 1964. 52 High Street, the Henry Kingsbury – Robert Lord house (1660) - Henry Kingsbury, the earliest known owner of this lot, is first mentioned in Ipswich Records of 1638. The oldest elements of the present house date to 1660, the year Henry Kingsbury sold a house and lot to Robert Lord. Key features of this house include a hidden room and 10 fireplaces. 73 High Street, the Nathaniel Lord house (C 1720) - This house is named after Nathaniel Lord who spent 36 years as the Register of Probate in the Ipswich Court. The western half of this house predates the eastern side and may have 17th Century elements. 77 High Street, the John Kimball house (1680) - Richard Kimball owned this lot in 1637. The property passed to John Kimball, and the present house dates from the time of his ownership. It belonged to the Lord family through the 19th century.
82 High Street, the John Brewer house (1680) - John Brewer came to Ipswich with his father Thomas Brewer who is shown living in Ipswich in 1639. Town records show that in 1662 the town constables were ordered to pay John Brewer 20 schillings, charges he was due “about constructing the fort”. John Brewer Sr. died on June 23, 1684. 83 High Street, the Isaac Lord house (before 1784) - The house has been in the Lord family for generations. Deed records do not indicate the age of the house, which appears to be quite old, with a massive stone chimney base, low ceilings, boxed summer beams, wide board floors, and an asymetrical construction. Despite oral tradition, there is no documentation that it was once the Old Jail on Meeting House Green. 88-92 High Street, the Shatswell house (before 1690) - The oldest section of the Tuttle – Lord – Shatswell house was built before 1690 for Deacon John Shatswell, who joined the Ipswich settlement in 1633 with his wife and four children. It remained in the family and was the home of Col. Nathaniel Shatswell, famous for his command of Union troops during the Battle of Harris Farm during the Civil War. 95 High Street, the Simon and Hannah Adams house (1700) - Simon Adams, a weaver and veteran of King Philip's War, owned this property in 1707, according to a deed of the adjoining property. (20:15). This "half-house" was originally extended as a leanto over the rear rooms. In 1906 the front door and old sash were changed and around 1919 the east ell was added.
22 Mineral Street, the Ephraim Harris House (1696, alt. 1835) - The earliest sections of this house were built by Daniel Warner in 1696 on the north side of Market Street. In 1835, Ephraim Harris, builder, was commissioned by Capt. Robert Kimball to build a new house on the lot. Harris removed a portion of the Warner house to his own land at the corner of Central and Mineral Streets, and enlarged it. A chamfered summer beam running from girt-to-girt is a remaining first period feature in the earliest, western half of the house.
Meeting House Green Historic District
8 North Main St, the Ebenezer Stanwood House (1747) - This house is named for early owner Ebenezer Stanwood, a peruke-maker. The framing and decoration indicate a First Period structure constructed between 1709 and 1747 when Stanwood acquired a portion of a house from Ebenezer Smith. 58 North Main Street, the Captain Richard Rogers House (1728) - Captain Richard Rogers bought this lot in 1728 and built this high style, gambrel roofed house shortly thereafter.The balustrade, paneling and shell cupboards in this house indicate a high-style Georgian influence, one of the finest of its vintage in New England. 57 North Main Street, the Day-Dodge House (1696-1737) - This unusual double house has two entrances and asymmetrical bays. The corner at North Main and East Street is the oldest section and appears to have elements of a barn constructed by Francis Wainwright at this location in 1696. This house is protected by a preservation agreement. 50 North Main Street, the James Brown house (1700 / 1721) - The James Brown house is part of a larger 1700 house that was divided into three houses in the late 18th Century. The chamfered oak frame in the southern portion indicates late First period, while the northern section appears to date from the 1720's. The Morley house next door was separated and turned sideways. 2 North Main Street, the John Appleton house (1707) - This was the first house in Ipswich to have a third story, which was removed by Daniel Noyes around 1768 after he bought the house. In 1962 the Appleton House was purchased by Exxon, which intended to build a gas station on the site. The Ipswich Heritage Trust was formed to save the house, the first major preservation action in Ipswich. 12 North Main Street, Treadwell’s Inn (1737) - In 1737, Captain Nathaniel Treadwell opened an inn in this building. John Adams visited Ipswich frequently during the 1770's in his capacity as a lawyer and always stayed at Captain Nathaniel Treadwell's inn. It was erroneously named the Christian Wainwright house, which no longer stands.
South Green Historic District
6 South Main Street, the Shoreborne Wilson – Samuel Appleton house (1685) - This house was built by joiner Sherborne Wilson,. The house was purchased in 1702 by Col. Samuel Appleton, the eldest son of Major Samuel Appleton. At the time it was still a two-room central chimney structure, and it is believed that Appleton expanded the building on the southeast side. The house is listed in the National Historic Register of Historic Places. 69 S. Main Street, the Samuel Dutch house (b 1733) - Samuel Dutch bought this land in 1723 and built this house by 1733. The front appears to have been enlarged with a third floor and a hip roof during in the early 19th Century. The rear wing has a chamfered summer beam, suggesting that it was an older house.
1 South Green, the Captain John Whipple House (1677) - The oldest part of the house dates to 1677 when Captain John Whipple constructed a townhouse near the center of Ipswich. The house had fallen into serious disrepair in the early 20th Century but was saved from destruction, moved through town and over the Choate bridge to its current location on South Green, and restored to its 1683 appearance. The original frame of oak, chestnut, and tamarack is largely intact.
7 South Village Green, the Col. John Baker House (1761) - Daniel Rogers sold his homestead to John Baker in 1761 and Baker built this house, which has much original material, including Georgian paneling and original fireplaces. This house is protected by a preservation agreement with the Ipswich Historical Commission.
2 Poplar Street, Swasey Tavern (1718) - John Ayres built a house in 1693, and sold it in 1705 to John Whipple, who did extensive alterations. In 1725 Increase How purchased the "good mansion house” from Whipple and ran an inn. In 1789 President George Washington addressed the citizenry from these steps. It was owned by General Joseph Swasey in the early 19th Century. 5-7 Poplar Street, the Dr. John Calef house (1671) - This house was built on South Main St. between 1671 and 1688 by Deacon Thomas Knowlton. In the 1700’s the house was owned by Dr. John Calef. who was Representative from Ipswich to the General Court, and lost favor with the town when he sided with Loyalists. In 1777 John Heard moved the house to its present location in order to build his elaborate Federalist home which now houses the Ipswich Museum. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
88 County Road, the Col. Nathaniel Wade House (1727) - This house was built in 1727 by Captain Thomas Wade. On September 25, 1780, his son Nathaniel Wade received an urgent correspondence from General George Washington that General Arnold had "gone to the enemy" and to take command at West Point. The house is protected by a preservation covenant with the Ipswich Historical Commission.
This map below shows all of the houses. The blue line is a 1.5 mile shorter version of the walking tour, starting from the Ipswich Public Library.